For animal lovers in Northwest Arkansas, the Bella Vista Animal Shelter has extended its free cat adoption program through Saturday (July 26).
Shelter director Donna Miles said the program was supposed to run July 9-23, but because of the number of adoptions that have taken place, they want to continue the no adoption fee period to find more homes for cats and kittens.
"All the babies are being born," Miles said, "Cats reproduce twice a year, in the spring and fall we see huge numbers start coming in...we see the males out traveling that aren't neutered, and we see the females being dumped with their babies or just litters of babies being left places."
She said in the last two weeks 40 cats and kittens have been adopted, but there are still nearly 80 felines that need homes.
"We've had so many of our even long term cats being looked at and getting great homes," Miles said.
There is a two cat limit per adopting family, and included in the "free" price tag is a spay or neuter of the animal, shots, micro-chipping and a free vet visit. The price to adopt a cat is typically $45 at the shelter.
"Most people come in wanting the little kittens, and our adult cats and our black cats are always the last to get homes," Miles said.
She said of the 80 left to get homes, 60 are adult cats--- some of which have been at the shelter for several years. Miles said the best way to prevent overcrowding in shelters is spaying and neutering.
"People are not spaying and neutering," She said, "Sometimes it's because they just don't believe in it or they can't afford it, but you can't use that excuse anymore, we have great options for low cost spay and neuters."
The application to take home a free kitten or cat is one page. Miles said the staff at the shelter also sits down with the family to make sure they get the right cat for the right home, and to make sure the animal will be well taken care of.
The Bella Vista Animal Shelter is open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.